1. What more can be said about Overwatch that hasn't been said already? Despite only being out for just over half a year, Blizzard's multiplayer launched to plenty of fanfare, with fans loving the combination of MOBA-like heroes and first-person shooter staples. This, merged with a unique and colourful art style, meant Overwatch set itself apart from the opposition.
A big part of the appeal of Overwatch is the heroes. Despite not having a campaign to flesh out the story or give characters additional detail, each character in Overwatch has a distinct personality, and this is created through a mixture of excellent visual design and funny, lovable voice work. When you talk to anyone about Overwatch, they always talk about their personal favourites, and Blizzard has been pushing this further by releasing comics, artwork, and more to give the characters even more depth.
Each hero is just as unique in terms of gameplay too, being split into four distinct categories, and no two characters are the same. Everyone has their 'main', whether you like tank, support, offence, or defence. This is also being constantly improved, added to, and balanced by Blizzard, ensuring that each hero has a fighting chance in the battle, which is also achieved through skill matching, keeping things fun and fair for all players across both casual and competitive playlists.
Exemplary visual and audio design is just the icing on the cake, and canny players can read the battle thanks to subtle but well-placed cues for each character. This easy to play yet hard to master gameplay has quickly turned Overwatch into a competitive game, and with Blizzard's backing there's no reason why this can't be a mainstay on the esports scene for years to come. The structure of the matchmaking and the way it encourages players to work together means that it's a great fit for esports, and almost all players find themselves getting sucked into the competitive side in one way or another.
Colourful and nicely designed graphics have also helped turn this accessible shooter into an iconic phenomenon, a game that people love to emulate the world over. All across the internet you can find cosplayers, artwork, merchandise and more, all riffing on the distinct, almost cartoon-like style that Overwatch nails, much like other titles from Blizzard such as Hearthstone and World of Warcraft.
As if all this wasn't enough, Blizzard has made clear that they are nowhere near finished with Overwatch yet. More content is always being added - Sombra being a recent addition to the roster of heroes - and Blizzard are always working on more. In fact, the developer has just revealed that a brand new map should be coming early next year, as well as a new hero, and no doubt there'll be more thereafter. It's this commitment to keeping the game fun and fresh that keeps fans loyal and coming back for more.
Overwatch has it all, and in terms of multiplayer experiences you can't beat it this year. It's practically taken over the world, and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who has played it and didn't revel in the unique experience it offers. In short, it's a hugely enjoyable shooter that has helped breathe fresh air into the genre. And in a year that has seen fantastic shooters in the form of Battlefield 1, Doom, Titanfall 2, Call of Duty: Infinity Warfare, Killing Floor 2, and Superhot, to say that Overwatch is head and shoulders above them all says something of its overall quality. This is our Game of the Year for 2016, and what a worthy winner it is too.